Adonis Diaries

Archive for March 1st, 2011

The Declaration of students for a democratic society in 1962 at port Huron stated the following:

First, the university has an influential position in permanent social development,

Second, the educative function of a university is indispensable to the formation of social attitudes,

Third, in this complex world of interactions, the university is the central institution for the evaluation and transmission of knowledge,

Fourth, the university is a pertinent social organ for access to knowledge and internal openness to social movements for change and reforms,

Fifth, there are no alternatives for movements of social change and reforms but to acquiring the necessary intellectual competence and knowledge offered within university campuses for using as potent tools of serious deliberation, fair judgement, and honest rational reflections.

In most States, universities are funded by public money; this was the case in the US over 50 years ago, until universities became self-sustained business unit, interacting and transacting with public institutions and private companies.  It is evident that universities in most nations, within its financial and economic structures, are “parasitic institutions” taxing the people for its sustainability.

Obviously, one way of acquiring financial sustainability is to having companies and public services, hiring exiting graduate students to filling job positions, transfer a portion of earned monthly check to the proper university for a duration.

Two drawbacks are consequent to this financial method:

First, students will select financially remunerating fields of study,

Second, university will encourage the students toward disciplines that have higher job opportunities.

What would happen to disciplines in arts, sociology, philosophy, languages,…?

There is this well-established trend that generates grants from public institutions and private companies supporting research studies in specific domains.  The companies enjoy tax-exempt contributions and the university allocates 52% of the amount of the grant to “overhead expenses” for using university facilities…  Actually, tax-exempt contributions are fundamentally taxing the people for more State revenues the next year.

The contention is that most of these grants do not go to basic research but to targeted missions related to military programs and capitalist model systems for exploiting common people and the developing States.  

What can be done so that the students declaration be translated effectively to enhancing social awareness and communication among communities for a peaceful and equitable election laws for representation in power?

An excellent alternative is that, in addition to “overhead expenses”, the university cut out a portion of the grants and allocate it to social, artistic, and inter-communication research programs and student support for liberal choices of specialities.

How transparent are the processes and procedures in secret institutions, private and public, playing the role of universities, like secret campuses, off-limit to public scrutiny in democratic systems?

There are the cases of two universities in Lebanon:  The American University of Beirut (AUB) and the Lebanese American University (LAU). Both universities receive funding from the US government and thus, the US Administration consider these universities are belonging to the US properties, even if most of the tuitions are paid by Lebanese students on Lebanese land.

A few years ago, the US delayed the election of a President to  LAU for an entire year because the Lebanese candidates were not appreciated by the US administration; finally, the US  selected and appointed its own American choice.

Fresh, mighty, and youthful waves are buffeting the stagnant lake of Arab regimes.  Uninterrupted and vigorous determined marches and sit-ins by mass demonstrators in the Arab world are disturbing the stinky status-quo that prevailed for most of this half century in the various Arab States.

The mighty unstoppable waves started in Tunisia and forked west and east, carrying old timbers and dead woods of dictators, absolute monarchs, and resilient monopolistic oligarchies.  Tunisians have succeeded in their second revolution by deposing the vintage figure of the old regime represented in Ghanoushi PM.

Mubarak fell and the Egyptians are back to Tahrir Square to liberate Egypt from the remnants of the old regime.  The Egyptian army junta is learning the lesson, slowly but steadily:  “We want to change the old regime Now”

Qadhafi is cornered like a fat rat in his stinky bunker.  Who could imagine that vast Libya with only 5 million in population can thwart the military blood-thirsty regime of the unstable-mind of a Qadhafi and his mercenaries?  We are learning that Qadhafi executed 1,200 prisoners in 1996 who demanded better prison conditions:  How come the foreign media didn’t cover this mass massacre?  How come the UN didn’t convene and “ex-communicated” Qadhafi?

Iraqis are mass demonstrating in all provinces:  Arabs, Kurds, Sunnis, Shias, Christians… are infuriated of successive foreign appointed governments.  The Iraqis want an independent State, free from foreign influences in their internal affairs.

Dictator Ali Saleh of Yemen is counting the days for vacating his Palace.  Nobody is convinced of his threats that Al Qaida will take over or worst conditions will prevail after he vacate his Palace.

The Sultan of Oman is preempting a mass uprising:  He promised that the faked Parliament (Shawra) be reformed and members elected; he promised to open 50,000 new jobs and remunerating those who apply for jobs.

The king of Bahrein is ready to change to a Constitutional monarchy, and so will the King of Jordan.

Even the monarchy in Saudi Arabia, the bastion of absolute and obscurantist monarchies, is listening to a Constitutional monarchy option:  the king has declared that he will “distribute” $35 billion on the needy and jobless and raising the public wages and backing subsidies on basic food ingredients.

The youth in Lebanon are displacing the sectarian and feudal political parties and reclaiming the streets.  The youth called upon a mass demonstration for a secular political and social structure.  The youth have responded and will deliver on their determination for a modern Lebanon.

There are emerging fresh undercurrent after the last two months of upheavals.  The youths are re-learning history and communicating their experiences and the experiences of their parents:

First, there is a sense of mass awakening that the US and European States have been treating the Arab people with utmost contempt in the last half century, and never exercising any pressures for democratic reforms as they constantly claimed were their wishes and interests.

Second, a realization that dictators and absolute monarchs were imposed on the Arab people by the former colonial powers.  For example, all these emirs and kings in the Arab Gulf and Oman were appointed by England around 1970, the Kingdom of Jordan was created by England in 1947, Iraq was an English colony, Lebanon was created by France in 1923, Syria was a French colony, Sadat and Mubarak were entirely supported by the US…

Third, the US and the European States exercised most of their veto powers against the just cause of the Palestinians, and toning down the plight, suffering, humiliation, and indignity of the Palestinians under Israel occupation.

The US is in deep trouble in the Middle East: It has to consistently demonstrate new behaviors and actions toward the vital and legitimate interests and rights of the people in this region. 

The dilapidated sentences of Hillary’s are not convincing:  Only serious and determined actions can change the tide of the gigantic resentment of the “Arab” people.  Resuming vetoing the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people in the UN and never missing an opportunity to reminding us that Israel is far more important than the survival and human rights of the “Arab” people will not do.

It is to the interest of the US citizens to exercising constant pressures on its elected politicians from exhibiting racist and apartheid tendencies against the Arab people, under any shape and forms, within the borders and outside borders. 

It is a learning process that will be beneficial to the American citizens since better equitable and fair election laws and processes in the US will represent all classes and ethnic minorities instead of implicitly restricting representation to the influences of multinational companies and the elite “old money” class.




March 2011

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